Various questions come up when you start looking for a credit card processing service such as Will the service improve my business?, What will the rates be like?, Will they be reliable?, Are they responsible?, and more. The internet is a first-class source to survey the market for credit card processors. But, what are the parameters involved in determining which processing service will best fit your trade requirements?
In this article, we discuss a few of the key factors in your selection of a credit card processing service for your business:
Credit card processing fees
The fee charged for service is undoubtedly a critical consideration. You want a service that is affordable and well worth its cost. The types of fees charged by processors vary but the most common are described below:
– Startup cost: A lot of card processing firms don’t levy this fee. For those that do, the fee is around $250. This is a “one time” fee.
– Gateway fee: If you have an e-commerce website, you will need a payment gateway to accept credit card payments. The gateway fee is charged monthly and can be any amount from $10 to $50.
– Statement fee: Most service firms charge a statement fee that averages around $10 per month.
– Monthly minimum fee: A monthly minimum fee ranging from $20 to $30 is charged to guarantee at least some income from each merchant.
– Transaction fee: This fee is common to all card processing companies. A set sum in the range of 24-35 cents is charged per transaction. In addition, the service also charges a cut (discount rate) that averages to 2.14%-2.40% per transaction.
– Address verification fee: Address verification is an extra safety measure to protect businesses from credit card fraud. Many providers charge a fee for each address verified. This can cost your business 5-10 cents per address.
Desirable features in a credit card processing service
The next step is to find out whether the service can meet all your expectations. List your needs against the features of the processor.
Category of credit cards accepted
Verify the most common cards used by your clients or the card types you would like to accept. Then, check if the credit card processing service accepts them. Frequently used card types are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Category of services
A credit or debit card processing service should offer all the services required to manage transactions in physical stores or e-commerce outlets.
Find out if the services include:
– merchant account
– virtual terminal
– electronic check clearing services
– point-of-sale (POS) terminals
– shopping cart
– recurring billing
– reasonable payment clearing period
Credit card processing security features
Credit card transactions are vulnerable to fraud and thefts. It is critical that processors take adequate steps to protect themselves and their clients:
– fraud protection
– CVV2 verification
– real time processing
– address verification
– SSL and encryption
Customer support services
What makes credit card processing services trustworthy? An almost zero error rate and always available customer support service. Service providers should be able to render help as and when required. Some features that should be part of the contract are:
– customer support numbers, email, fax, and work timings (around-the-clock is always preferable)
– fixed response times
– toll-free telephone number
– live online chat, if needed
Businesses should weigh costs and services before selecting a service provider. The deal should not only fit your business budget but also meet all your needs.